junk food

High calorie, low nutrient junk foods are a major contributing factor to why the Western diet rates so poorly. Parents may in fact overestimate the nutritional quality of their childrens’ diet. The intake of junk food should be as low as possible. The U.S. dietary guidelines have failed to address this problem, thought due to industry influence.

The healthiest choices are unrefined plant foods, though in the case of chocolate it’s good that the cocoa butter is processed out into cocoa. Only two sweeteners can be considered healthful, along with dates. Gum Arabic can be considered harmless, but licorice, deep frying, corn syrup, sugar, sodas, butter flavor in popcorn, artificial colors, certain red dye, and trans fats (see also here, here) can be harmful.

Topic summary contributed by Mahnoosh Assadi and Bob
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Watch videos about junk food

  • Is Licorice Good For You?
    Is Licorice Good For You?
    The safe upper limit of licorice consumption and why pregnant women may be at particularly high risk.
  • Are Dates Good For You?
    Are Dates Good For You?
    Do the beneficial phytonutrients in dates make up for their high sugar content?
  • Mothers Overestimate Dietary Quality
    Mothers Overestimate Dietary Quality
    Mothers have been found to dramatically overestimate the quality of their preschoolers' diets
  • What’s in a Burger?
    What’s in a Burger?
    Cleveland Clinic pathologists dissect fast food burgers to see what's inside.
  • Healthiest Chocolate Fix
    Healthiest Chocolate Fix
    Which has the highest levels of beneficial phytonutrients: baking chocolate, chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate?
  • Deep Frying Toxins
    Deep Frying Toxins
    Volatile toxins created by deep frying may pose a respiratory risk.
  • Good, Great, Bad, & Killer Fats
    Good, Great, Bad, & Killer Fats
    Avoiding trans fats doesn't just mean staying away from junk food.
  • Update on Chocolate
    Update on Chocolate
    Results of a major international scientific conference summarized
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